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Author Archive: Jason Quesada

Jason Quesada is the Digital Media Marketing Manager for the Interop, Cloud Connect, Online Marketing Summit and E2.0 events. He’s in charge with developing the digital strategy for the live events, which includes blogging, producing videos and managing the social media efforts for each of the brands. Jason has been with UBM Tech for over 6 years and is a tech marketing, sports and music fanatic. Jason also won a dance contest in Las Vegas once. Follow him on Twitter: @jqsmooth


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Visionary, cutting-edge and inspirational Cloud Connect keynote speakers will provide insight into crafting your own cloud computing plans. That’s why we’re excited to announce Duke Skarda, CTO of Softlayer, will be part of the transformational keynote program at Cloud Connect Chicago.

As the CTO, he holds responsibilities for implementing, designing and enhancing the proprietary SoftLayer Infrastructure Management System (IMS). Prior to joining SoftLayer, Mr. Skarda served as the Vice President of Information Technology and Software Development at The Planet. He served in this role from June, 2009 to October, 2010.

Previously, Duke spent 10 years with Level 3 Communications in a series of increasingly responsible positions. As Senior Vice President for its Content Markets Group, he led Engineering and IT development for its Content Distribution Network platform and IT support systems. As Senior Vice President for IT Architecture and Application Development, he led a broad range of programs, including business process management, order-entry and service assurance development. He also served as Vice President of IT Architecture, where he led the development of a long-range systems roadmaps, systems merger and acquisition planning, and the development of the company’s Enterprise Architecture team.

Duke Skarda earned a B.S. in Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at El Paso.

Be sure to attend Cloud Connect Chicago October 21-23, 2013 at McCormick Place to hear about a new approach of how infrastructure can support APIs and operational procedures in the cloud.  Register early to lock in Early Bird rates and save up to $500 on Conference Passes.

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Cloud Connect offers several flexible passes to choose from when registering. Here are my top 8 reasons (in reverse order) why you purchase a Cloud Connect All Access Pass:

8. Free Lunch! Nom nom nom

7. Make the most of your Cloud Connect experience by joining any of the following receptions or networking events.

6. Expo: See what’s new, learn what’s cutting edge and identify technology must-haves for your business.

5. Vendor Sessions

4. Keynotes: Learn from industry experts, peers and providers all sharing their insights, case studies and strategies – hear from PayPal, VMware, General Electric, Cisco and more.

3. Cloud Connect offers a variety of comprehensive workshops on both standards and emerging trends from recognized thought-leaders in the cloud space.

2. Conference Sessions: Learn about the latest cloud computing innovations at the Cloud Connect Conference—including Big Data, Infrastructure, Cloud Security, and more.

1. Save $300! Register with priority code SMBlog and save up to $300* on your Interop All Access or Conference Pass!

Lock in an All Access Pass for the best value and receive behind the scene access to Cloud Connect!



Feel free to follow me on Twitter for more inside Cloud Connect updates.
*Discount calculated based on the on-site price and not combinable with other offers. Offer good on new registrations only. Prices after discount applied: All Access: $2,099.00 Conference: $1,699.00, Workshop Pass: $799.00, Expo Plus: $150.00, Expo Only: Free

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IT professionals today are dealing with a lot of challenges to make sure that their department is running in an efficient and productive manner. Staying up with the latest releases of products, putting out small fires within their organization, keeping their data centers cool and of course the cloud, which is constantly hanging overhead. LOB executives want to make sure their organization is prepared for the future in terms of IT productivity and the words they keep hearing are: The Cloud! I’m pretty sure Sys Admins cringe every time those words are mentioned, but they do know it is an important aspect to their IT framework.  However there are so many types of cloud computing deployment models to consider, that it can make your head feel like a cloud. Here are a few examples of cloud computing deployment models that are out there right now: Continue Reading »

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One of the great things about Cloud Connect Silicon Valley is the number of relationships that get rekindled at the conference. You can grab breakfast, lunch or a beer with old acquaintances and make new connections that will help you throughout the year. But Cloud Connect also provides the opportunity to connect with the leading cloud computing vendors and to get up to speed on all they have to offer.  This year’s conference welcomes a plethora of new exhibiting companies for you to meet. Continue Reading »

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Cloud computing has changed the IT landscape over the past decade. This new technology came onto the technology scene at such a fast and furious pace that is seemed like it appeared out of….well from the clouds. However, behind the clouds, there are innovative people that made cloud computing happen.  Charles Babcock, Editor At Large, for InformationWeek, looked at the short history of cloud computing and identified 10 cloud computing pioneers that have paved the way for cloud knowledge and adoption. Continue Reading »

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A blog entry by Private & Hybrid Clouds Track Chair Barb Goldworm.

A lot of feedback from previous sessions at Cloud Connect, Enterprise Cloud Summit and Interop has been around the need for practical steps to take today. There are lots of discussions on cloud “vision”, and there has been lots of education and experiences with virtualization, but many are hungry to bridge the gap from where you are with your virtual infrastructure today, to truly running a private cloud. The conversation is no longer about “if” but is now about “how”.

In response to this feedback, we are focusing both our Private and Hybrid Cloud track, and our Private Cloud workshop on the “how”. My previous blog highlighted key speakers and sessions in the track, so what about the workshop? The Building Private Clouds: From “If” to “How” workshop offers a vendor-neutral perspective to help you understand the key components of a private cloud, the relationship between virtualization and cloud, what it means to have a well-managed virtual infrastructure, and what it takes to leverage that infrastructure and deliver a true private cloud.

We’ll start by mapping out the road to private cloud, the steps involved, the roadblocks along the way, and how to overcome them. We’ll discuss how automation, orchestration and self-service fit in. We’ll help you sift through today’s vast virtualization and cloud ecosystem to identify which functions are critical for you, and which solutions best match which requirements. We’ll look at how different vendors address virtualization and private cloud and how new cloud management tools integrate with and/or /utilize what organizations already have.

So join us on Monday afternoon for the workshop to start the practical journey on the road to cloud, and then continue on with the Private and Hybrid Cloud track on Tuesday for vendor visions, perspectives and additional comparisons and conversations. Go beyond the vision to get more practical, and map out your next steps on the road to cloud.

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A blog entry by Private & Hybrid Clouds Track Chair Barb Goldworm.

Hybrid clouds are getting a lot of attention these days and rightly so. Many believe that given time, everything will ultimately be a hybrid cloud of some type.  The question is not if, but rather what, where, when, who, and how.

  • What type of cloud(s) should you be implementing– private, public, community…?
  • Where should different workloads run (cloud or not and which type of cloud)?
  • When should different workloads migrate?
  • Who are the leaders, both as private cloud component players and as service providers?
  • And of course, how do you get there, securely and efficiently?

These are the questions we will be focusing on at Cloud Connect in our Private and Hybrid Cloud track, and our Private Cloud workshop. We have a great line up of topics and speakers to help you navigate the road to cloud.  With leaders from OpenStack, Eucalytpus, CloudStack/Citrix, VMware, Cisco, BlueLock  and more we will be drilling down into how to go about building a private/hybrid cloud with today’s tools and services, what’s coming down the road, and how to start now, with an eye towards the future.

In the Building VMware-based Private Clouds session , Neela Jacques (one of our top rated VMware speakers) , will share VMware’s experiences to-date in building clouds, as well as how VMware’s new vision of software defined datacenters can fit into and shape your future plans.

Based on rave reviews from past sessions, we are doing an encore of a rapid fire comparison session, Comparing Cloud Orchestration Stacks, with leading cloud orchestration stack vendors answering ten key questions on their stacks, and then inviting you to dig deeper with them.

On the public vs. private debate/discussion, we have a panel of experts including a cloud stack vendor and service providers, looking at  Hybrid Clouds – Can you Get the Best of Both Cloud Worlds (Public and Private).

And continuing the discussion around orchestration and management, Scott Hammond, VP of strategy, Cloud & Systems Management  from Cisco will leverage his background in service management and discuss  Enabling IT as a Service – Cloud Management and Orchestration.

So join our conversation on what, where, when, who and how, and take home some practical answers on the next stops on your road to cloud.

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Here are a few reasons why to register before you get on site at Cloud Connect Chicago:

  • Prices are set to increase onsite in Chicago. By registering today, you will receive a $200 discount on conference passes or get a free expo pass by clicking on this link!
  • Registering allows you access to the Cloud Connect Mobile App. Get event information at your fingertips including exhibitors, sessions, events, news, exhibition floor plan, new products and show specials. Plus, receive suggestions based on your interests, create short lists, plan your agenda, take notes, get directions, and more!
  • Once you arrive at Cloud Connect, you can quickly print your badge off of one of the computers provided and get
    right on the show floor! Otherwise you will need to spend time registering yourself and your team onsite.
  • Tell all of your friends and colleagues that you are attending Cloud Connect conference and workshop sessions. It will ensure your organization is equipped to leverage new cloud and big data technology solutions in order to increase efficiency and improve your business agility. They will be super jealous!

Looking forward to seeing you in Chicago!

Feel free to follow me on Twitter for inside Cloud Connect updates.



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A blog entry from Big Data Track Chair Jeremy Edberg.

We’re introducinga new program at the upcoming Cloud Connect Chicago on ”BIG DATA: FUNDAMENTALS TO BEST PRACTICES“. BUT what is Big Data? I get asked that question often. Just the other day, I did a search on Google News for [Big Data]. What I found was a long list of blogs and news stories, many of which were trying to define Big Data.

I’ll make the answer easy — we don’t have a definition because it means too many things to too many people. To some it means using the latest NoSql technology; to others Big Data is just a repackaging of data mining and business intelligence. Continue Reading »

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Why the rise of cloud computing is fundamentally changing collaboration.

Few technology shifts have taken off as quickly as cloud computing. The cloud is so pervasive today that many of us use it every day without thinking about it: downloading music, accessing e-mail on the go, logging into work environments from our mobile devices. Cloud is also becoming a tool for transformation in the business world as IT leaders look to cloud-based applications as an enabler of better workplace collaboration and productivity. Experts from IBM and IDC will discuss how businesses are using the cloud to:

  • Become a catalyst for unlocking value.
  • Speeding time to revenue and helping to eliminate organizational silos — leading to valuable business benefits.
  • Access clients can reach across geographies, where they may not have an IT footprint.
  • Connect people more seamlessly, eliminating barriers to collaboration.
  • Free up IT to focus on other critical priorities, paving the way for better business outcomes.

Why Should You Attend?

  • Gain insight into how companies are approaching social business.
  • Learn how embracing the spirit of collaboration and community — internally and externally — can deliver unprecedented return for the time invested.
  • Develop a roadmap for increasing collaboration in your organization.
  • Submit questions directly to our panelists for a live Q&A session during the hour
Register for the Webcast Date: Thursday, August 16, 2012
Time: 11:00 am PT/2:00 pm ET
Duration: 60 minutes

Sponsored by IBM, presented by Cloud Connect
Sponsored by: IBM


Ted BrufkePanel Moderator: Ted Brufke, US SaaS Leader, IBM Collaboration Solutions

Ted Brufke is the NA SmartCloud Sales Leader for the ICS portfolio and has been leading this effort since the products we introduced in the market place in early 2009. Ted came to IBM in 2005 as part of the PureEdge Software acquisition where his responsibilities included the solution rollout in North and South America. He was also a key part of the launch of IBM Connections in 2007 and served as the IBM Collaboration leader for the Eastern US in 2008. Prior to joining IBM he worked at EDS, Software AG, Tandem Computers and Exodus Communications.

Ted is a graduate of Villanova University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Robert MahowaldRobert Mahowald, Research Vice President, IDC

Robert Mahowald is a Research Vice President at IDC and leads the SaaS & Cloud Services practice as well as co-leads IDC’s Cloud Services: Global Overview program. Mr. Mahowald is well-known as a subject matter expert in the areas of SaaS, IT Cloud services and collaboration, and his research and commentary has appeared in trade journals and publications including The Wall Street Journal, USAToday, The New York Times, and Investor’s Business Daily.

A 12-year industry veteran, Mr. Mahowald previously led research for IDC’s Collaborative Computing practice, in areas such as Unified Communications, Web conferencing and team collaboration. Before joining IDC, Mr. Mahowald was an officer in the US Army, earning the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in his 26 year career of active and reserve service. Mr. Mahowald earned his B.A. from the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, IA., and his M.A. from Wesleyan University, in Middletown, CT.

Matt EngstromMatt Engstrom, Sales Leader – SmartCloud for Social Business, Messaging & Collaboration Software, IBM

Matt has been working with Lotus Software since 1997. He worked as a billable consultant in the IBM Business Partner community, doing Domino infrastructure and architecture work, and mail migrations. He moved to IBM/Lotus in 1999 and work in technical sales in the midwest region through 2011. In 2012, Matt moved to Sales Leadership role, and now covers SmartCloud for Social Business sales in the western USA and Canada.
Bryan Hendricks, Director – Enterprise Architecture, VWR International


Steve WylieSteve Wylie, General Manager, Cloud Connect

Conference industry veteran Steve Wylie has been involved with some of the World’s leading business technology conferences for the past 15 years. As the General Manager for UBM TechWeb’s Cloud Connect brand, Steve is the driving force behind the defining cloud event for IT professionals, developers, and leading cloud providers. Steve is a regular columnist on and serves on the Social Networking advisory board at Steve formerly chaired the Enterprise 2.0 Conferences and co-chaired the annual Interop conferences in Las Vegas and New York. Prior to running conferences, Steve managed Interop’s renowned InteropNet, including a multi-vendor test lab geared to evaluate, improve and showcase early implementations of open-standard IT infrastructure technologies. Steve can be found on twitter @swylie650

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